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Shark attack in Sydney Harbour

A NAVY diver fought off a shark in Sydney Harbour yesterday, but sustained serious injuries to his hand and leg in the port's first attack in nine years.

Paul Degelder, 31, was swimming on the surface of the water with a police diver just off a Navy base when the shark attacked, Australian Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Nigel Coates said.

Degelder fought back, punching the shark a couple of times before it swam off, Coates said.

He was pulled into a nearby boat, given first aid and taken to hospital. The attack was over in seconds.

There was no immediate information on the type of shark involved.

Degelder was said to be in a stable condition after surgery.

The attack happened during an underwater trial of new naval defense technologies. The trial was temporarily suspended yesterday as other Navy officers hunted for the shark, Coates said.

The last shark attack in the harbor occurred in 2000, said shark expert John West from Sydney's Taronga Zoo.

The last fatal attack in the harbor was in 1963.


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